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Cheney Doesn't Feel Left Out

(CBS)
By CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller

This is one of the few times Vice President Cheney has been left out of a big White House event: the big lunch with Barack Obama. But in a radio interview with CBS News, Cheney said he doesn't feel left out.

"No, I'd love to be there, but the Vice Presidents weren't invited." He said today's lunch is "just for the big dogs."

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Interviewed in his office, Cheney did have some advice for Mr. Obama.

"He was rather critical during the campaign of some of the policies we pursued for example in terms of terrorist surveillance or interrogation of terrorist prisoners," said Cheney.

He said those programs "are absolutely essential to maintaining our capacity to interfere with and defeat all further attacks against the U.S."

He urged Mr. Obama "before you start to implement your campaign rhetoric – you need to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it."

Cheney said those policies are "vital to keeping the nation safe and secure in the years ahead."

Reflecting on his eight years in office, the vice president also:

  • Regrets that his time as VP is coming to an end: "I'm gonna miss it," he said. "It's been an amazing experience... something I never thought I'd have a chance to do. I've served twenty-five years in government and then went off to the private sector."
  • Is not shy about admitting how much he liked his job the last 8 years. "I've loved being vice president. It's been a great job…. a fascinating time to be here."
  • Credits President Bush for making the job of VP so satisfying. "It's often been a job that was frustrating for the incumbent. That hasn't been my experience and that primarily due to the president. He said he wanted me to be a major part of his team when he asked me to do the job and he's kept his word."

    Listen to portions of the Interview:

  • Cheney: I'll Miss Being VP
  • Cheney On Career Highlights
  • Cheney On The VP Job

    Cheney also recently spoke with Face The Nation Host Bob Schieffer. To read about that interview, click here.

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